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5 Membership Program Mistakes (and how you can avoid them!)

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In the aftermath of launching my first membership program, there was a lot to mull over, a lot to work out and a lot improve on for the next launch.

While I was going through all of the post-launch analysis and thinking through what worked and what didn’t, I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned and things I would do differently next time.

The first thing I want to mention is…

Clear your calendar and plan out your launch


I put to much pressure on myself and had too little time to create everything and I was exhausted

What I would do differently:

Planning out your membership and planning out your launch is absolutely critical.

You may think it’s a nice idea to have a membership, it does seem to be a “thing” at the moment but it is a lot of work and there is a lot of content creation that goes into it.

There is also a lot of tech involved.  Especially when it comes to launching.

It is a lot of time and effort and energy and if you are going to try and do it by yourself or have a small team then it is even more important for you to plan out your membership and your launch.

You may think you need six weeks but you might actually need six months to get it all created, sorted out and set up.

I started in January with the objective of growing my list and building my community for six months (January to June) with the idea to launch on July 1.

But life happens doesn’t it and when March came round I thought, maybe I’ll create a membership next year or maybe at the end of the year.

Then I pulled up my bootstraps and decided, now is the time to do it.

Especially because we were going into the summer holidays and I want people to get their marketing organised, automated and under control before the summer holidays

So I jumped into having a beta group in June when I didn’t really have a solid plan in place as to how I was going to scale it, grow it and develop it.

All I had was the idea that I was going to show people how to do their marketing in an hour a day as I had been doing.

So I threw myself into the deep end and it was the best thing I have ever done!

Also, my personality type thrives on deadlines and pressure. If there are no deadlines then it will get pushed to the bottom of the list.

Having a beta group meant I couldn’t do that, having a group to hold me accountable forced me to get my sh*t together.

Have a beta group


Not starting a beta group early enough

What I would do differently:

So speaking of a beta group, I want to just discuss how absolutely awesome and amazing my gang were.

I had 15 people, that was the limit that I set it to because I thought that’s enough for people to be able to give me a variety of feedback but then small enough for us to be able to really work closely together.

We work together for the whole month and foolishly I set it so I started launching halfway through the beta month. So if I was going to do it again I would do a full month with the beta group before even starting any of the launch plan.

Trying to do both at the same time was a crazy idea and way too overwhelming.

There are a lot of things that at the time you think are a good idea but in reality, don’t work out as you thought.

The beta group was such a great testing ground because again there where things I’ve done that just didn’t work for other people. They were a great sounding board for my ideas and as soon as they started getting results I knew I was onto something.

The beta group helped me put together the members’ area, I redesigned it about 5 times to ensure it was as user-friendly as possible!


Having a beta group really helped me create all the content with a real-life group in mind, rather than an avatar.

Use a teleprompter


Trying to freestyle videos

What I would do differently:

When I started making videos for the beta group I was just freestyling them with my digital SLR camera and I had a notepad next to me and which was proper up underneath the camera.

It was so hard trying to remember everything that had to say. I tried chunking the videos down into smaller bite-size videos so that I could actually concentrate on what I was saying and remember what had to say for each of the videos. But yeah it just wasn’t working.

I’ve never been good at remembering lines. Even when I was younger and I was in the school drama productions and dance shows I always forget my lines and all the dance moves.

So when I needed to re-record some of the content I had created for the beta group I decided that I was going to use a teleprompter.

Mainly because if I did need to re-do the videos I can literally just edit one small part of the transcript and re-record the video.

I first tried to make a teleprompter with a box shoebox and some string but as you can see in the pic it was very makeshift and didn’t really work because when I put my iPad on it was super heavy. I just felt like everything was going to end up smashing on the floor.


So I decided to forego the quality of the DSLR and use the BIGVU app on my iPhone instead and I haven’t looked back.

Get guidance from someone who has already launched a successful membership program


Trying to figure it all out myself

What I would do differently:

When I started in Jan I tried to figure it all out myself, then as if by magic, when the student is ready the teacher appears! Stu McLaren appeared in my life with his Tribe program.

The program teaches you in such a wonderfully simple yet comprehensive way how to lay out your membership, how to decide what your membership should be, what it should include, how to create the content, how to promote it with marketing.

This for this launch I haven’t follow his guidance to a T because this was the very first launch that I had done for this membership so I didn’t include everything that he recommends. Mainly because I didn’t have the time or the resources.

Having that blueprint and the guidance from the Facebook group, to be able to speak to people who had also created memberships was just absolutely fantastic.

Don’t be shy


Not being very visible during the launch

What I would do differently:

I really didn’t go all in and promote it fully as it was a new membership I was a bit reluctant to promote it hard.

I would recommend that you go all in!

Once you have tested the idea for your membership program and have people interested and you have a proven plan that is achieving results for your members then go all out!

Promote it like your life depended on it!

What you are offering, if you are going into it with a perspective of truly helping people needs to be shared with the world!

Your membership will change peoples lives so it is your duty to make sure as many people as possible know it exists!

I really enjoyed my launch and I can’t wait for the next one!

It was exhausting but such a learning curve and a great experience.

My biggest bit of advice would be to have fun and don’t put too much pressure on yourself. The more you can relax and be authentic the more your audience will relate to you.

Use videos! Lots of them as many as you can fit in.

So I hope you have found all the information helpful. I’d love to know if you are planning a membership or already have one, comment below what it is and how it’s going for you. Lets all support each other!

I’m Rachael Owen.

Does the thought of marketing over whelm you? Does its feel really icky? Do you feel like you spend all your day trying to figure out what you should be doing?

It doesn’t need to be that way! You really can make an impact in the world doing work that feeds your soul whilst also making a 6 figure income.

The key is to focus on strategic marketing that converts! Dropping all of the stuff thats wasting your precious time and stepping into efficient business owner you desire to be.

By investing your time and money into the right marketing you can not only accelerate your growth but free up your time for those life-changing, world-changing projects you’ve longed to do.

With over 15 years marketing experience as a marketing strategist, I’ve worked with global brands including Red Bull, Disney, British Airways, Bacardi…. I now utilise the strategies these big players use to help entrepreneurs and influencers get big results.

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Rachael Owen teaches online courses and workshops for entrepreneurs who want to grow an audience, start an online business, and change the world.

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